Leaping llama earns bragging rights on the farm with record-breaking TV appearance

By Vassiliki Bakogianni
split image Boateng close-up and attempting jump

Boateng de Oro earned his place in llama history when he achieved the highest jump by a llama as part of our Italian TV show Lo Show Dei Record.

The talented camelid jumped an obstacle at the height of an incredible 1.30 m (4 ft 3 in) without touching the bar, breaking the record that Caspa the Llama had set almost eight years ago.

Boateng lives a happy, busy life with his owner Walter Mair, on his family farm in Soprabolzano, northern Italy, where they have been breeding Arabian thoroughbreds, llamas and alpacas for over 25 years.

The Mair family also own a horse riding school and offer trekking tours with llamas and alpacas, as well as farm holidays.

Walter and Boateng looking at each other

“As with all our animals, we have a close bond with Boateng de Oro,” Walter told us. “Always respecting the fact that camelids are distance animals, though!

“Boateng de Oro was born in our farm and I have been involved in his upbringing and training since day one.

“He is a fine, majestic stallion with, strong legs, great colours, an impressive fleece, and – very important – a good character.”

More specifically about Boateng’s character, Walter said that “he is reserved, proud, brave, and curious, and he is a natural when it comes to hiking, climbing and jumping, in spite of his weight and size.”

“He can be a bit of a clown. He’s very clever, sometimes too clever for his own good. Life with him doesn’t get boring.” – Walter Mair

Boateng was trained to be one of the ‘de Oro’ mountain trekkers, a team of llama stallions that accompany groups of people on scenic multiple-day treks through the Italian Alps, moving from shelter to shelter.

When he is not trekking, Boateng de Oro enjoys a sweet life spending his days grazing on the vast pastures. He lives outdoors, roaming freely day and night, all year round.

He also makes about 10-15 babies a year!

Boateng’s journey towards record breaking started quite naturally; one day, he just surprised his owner by jumping out of a horse stall that is 1.41 m (4 ft 6 in) tall.

“He made it look so easy and effortless,” Walter commented.

Walter and Boateng smiling holding certificate

After that, the llama kept on jumping over different fences, without any purpose of escaping but rather just for the fun of it.

Walter then started inviting him to attempt higher jumps; “he had a great time doing it, and so did we,” he explained.

Soon enough, they were invited on the Italian TV show, and decided to give it a try.

“We didn’t really train a lot. We didn’t want to overstrain his joints, or make him lose his motivation,” Walter added.

When the day of the attempt arrived, it looked like it was going to be a smooth process.

After thorough vet checks, Boateng firstly attempted a 1.20 m (3 ft 9 in) jump on a purpose built obstacle, which he did perfectly, establishing a new record.

But then, when he went on and tried the more challenging 1.30 (4 ft 3 in) leap, which he had accomplished during his training, he lost his focus and came up too close to the bar, pushing it.

He was allowed one more attempt, but the same thing happened again.

“I guess he was a bit tense, a film studio is a far cry from his natural habitat,” Walter commented. “Luckily, he had already made some fans and in the end, it was decided that he should get to try the jump again in a calmer environment.”

Boateng attempting record

Indeed, five days later a Guinness World Records animal behaviourist and official Adjudicator visited Boateng and Walter at their farm, where Boateng officially accomplished the incredible 1.30 m (4 ft 3 in) leap.

Walter jokingly added: “We also tried for 1.40 m (4 ft 6 in) but that’s a height where Boateng de Oro decided to show us that he isn’t just sporty but also bright… why jump over it if one can easily pass under the bar? Limbo!”

Regarding any future attempts, Walter said: “We are proud of what he has achieved and will leave it at that. He enjoys the jumping and looks all smug after a clean jump, but other than that he just wants to continue his sweet life here in our farm.”

“We are not pushing Boateng, even though we know he could beat his own record.” – Walter Mair

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